Ceuta Healthcare’s Olympic Blog

Boat Loads of Fun!
by Harrison Hawker

The final day of the rowing regatta of the 30th Olympia at London 2012 was anticipated to be an exciting event, and it did not disappoint.

The day stared for me with a 5am alarm followed by an hour or so drive to the Upton Court Park and ride for our designated time slot of 6:30. The park and ride took us to Windsor Racecourse and after a 30 minute walk we arrived at Eton Dorney and the 2012 Olympics.

The venue was incredible, well organised and well-made combined with the excitement and anticipation of the day’s events and the fact Team GB would be competing for three gold medals.

We place ourselves as close to the main stand as possible right next to the 1500m marker. This gave us both a good view of the finish and the big screen.

Team GB were not in any of the first 7 races and as each was finished you could feel the excitement rising till finally Team GB took to the lake.

As the women double-sculls came into view the wave of noise increased. When they rowed passed us the crowd were cheering so loudly that you could not even hear the coach’s on their bikes screaming at their respective rowers. The women went passed the grand stand in first and the noise was so loud that they increased in speed and won the first gold medal of the day for GB’s rowers.

The men’s coxless 4 were next and are renowned as the main event in the rowing regatta. It was GB verses Australia for gold and the GB men motivated by the atmosphere and noise delivered and oar inspiring performance to win GB’s second gold.

The men’s light weight doubles got off to a choppy start with the wheel of one of the seats breaking just inside the 100m limit where by the race could be restarted and GB would not have to forfeit their place. The performance by the 2 men was amazing and after leading the whole race they were just piped to the gold by Denmark.

Overall it was an incredible day and the medals won contributed to the most successful day for British athletics ever. I was very proud to have been part of it.


Sun block and Hockey!
by Iain Laing

JUST how I managed to get sunburnt and soaked at the same time whilst watching women’s hockey at the Riverbank Arena, I can only put down to the wonderful vagaries of the British summer.  It seemed only fitting that the weather added its own very British touch to the occasion, fully justifying its place in Danny Boyle‘s imagined vision of Britain.

Here are a few other musings on ‘British’ observations from my day at the Olympic Park:

• Having to pack sunglasses, sun cream…and raincoats
• People wearing shorts, flip flops…and raincoats (including you, Mr Dave Edwards)
• Respectfully standing for other countries’ national anthems
• Having no idea where those countries are or what language they speak, let alone what they are singing
• Queuing 50 minutes for the Megastore for a key ring, as that’s all that was left under £50
• My children talking in excited terms about sports other than football, and finding new sporting heroes
• Feeling the collective pride of a nation in the achievements of Team GB, which have been inspirational

Now it’s off to the shops as the kids want a new tennis racquet, bicycle, running shoes, table tennis bat, javelin, canoe, rowing boat..


On the fence
by Louise Proehl

When my brother offered me his tickets for the fencing, I admit I did think that it would be a bit boring and there were far better sports to be watch at the Olympics. However on further reflection, they were Olympic tickets and this wasnt likely to be an opportunity that would be repeated so I decided to go.

Turns out at Fencing was more exciting than I thought!

London when we arrived had been transformed from the normal version of London Town to a Olympic vision. With the riverbank created into an Olympic walkway with colourful versions of Wenlock and Mandeville, it was a triely magical walk to London Bridge.

Arriving at the site of the Olympic park, it was so crowded but there was a buzz of excitement in the air which really got you in the spirit of this fantastic event.

After being escorted out of the Olympic park by Army Personnel after trying to get in with Excel centre tickets (very embarrassing- please all, check your tickets!) we made our way to the right venue to watch the Fencing. Note to all those going to the Excel centre, if you think you might get hungry, take food. It is £7 for a pasty and £4 for an ice-cream.

We were called to our seats and entertained by a military band and then motivational Olympic videos of the athletes we were about to watch. The game of Fencing was then explained so that the people who were new to the sport could get involved knowing the basics of the rules.

We ended up watching the semi-finals, bronze match and gold match of both the Mens Epee and the Womens Sabre which were both as exciting as each other. Something that has surprised me is how much I would now like to try fencing and I do feel that this is what the Olympics is all about- getting people to embrace new sports.


Fages forward planning
by Jason Fage

So having booked our hotel 2 years ago to get a deal we set about entering the ballot with block bookings across 28 sessions only to get 1 set of tickets for a Monday morning session of Athletics. Not a bad one to get I know but with 3 days to fill we were determined to get some more tickets to make the most of the Olympic experience. With the help of Google and Twitter I tracked down Co-sport and paid slightly over the odds for Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Water Polo to fill up the weekend.   Saturday… So our Olympics weekend started at 5am in Chesterfield and the train to St Pancras. We headed for the Triathlon in Hyde Park which was a free event although much walking was required to get close to the action but a good event to whet the appetite for what was to come. Then it was on to the Beach Volleyball in the evening which was fantastic even if I had little clue what was going on, a womens match Brazil Vs Czech someone had to do it! Great half time entertainment though and the location was superb.

Sunday…Tennis. Our tickets were for Court 1 which was a Bronze medal game Djokovik v Del Potro but with Murray playing on Centre for Gold the atmosphere was great. Then we had to make a mid afternoon dash over to Olympic Park to the Water Polo. Again We hadnt got a clue what was happening in front of us but all I can say is the Womens Water Polo is a fairly brutal sport with lots of underhand/Underwater tactics going on. The Olympics park at night was something else. Finally onto Monday and the grand finale .Athletics tickets in the Stadium.

The whole Olympic Park is immense in size and I feel there was much more to see than we had time for. The stadium is fantastic and our seats behind the Olympic flame were excellent. One request..Would have been good if Seb could have put the flame out for a couple of hours as it got a bit warm and the haze also distorted our view….should I write him a letter of complaint ? Perhaps not !! The whole place is like a small town and the organisation was superb. Having spent 3 days at the Olympics it actually felt we had been to something really special and everything we experienced was organised 1st Class. Was it really Great Britain where this was all taking place? It certainly was and fantastic to have experienced it close up.

Jason and Rachael Fage


Horrah for Handball
by Annette DAbreo

Well I drew the Hot Ticket this week – Iceland v Hungary Mens Handball Quarter Final. It was fast paced, physical and very exciting to watch, especially as they were drawn after 60 mins, and then again after 10 mins extra time, with Hungary winning by just 1 point after another 10 mins of extra time. The many Hungarians in the Arena went crazy. I loved the music, dancing and clapping that permeated the whole game. Best player – Laszlo Nagy – doppelganger for Ashton Kutcher.

I went with my friend Ali who appreciated the beautiful flowers along the canal and the royal barge Gloriana. We saw the NBC area from where they broadcast Good Morning America live every day, and had a good view of Matt Lauer, Al Roker and their special guest the actor Jimmy Fallon who came over to say Hi to us. Travel to and from Stratford was easy and not too crowded. But it is getting warmer and it smelt as though the Handball teams were in my tube carriage – before they showered.

Signs of the times – By Lee Sabin

Social Networks

 

 

 

Social networking, friend or foe, like or dislike but something we cannot ignore, the signs are there but what do they mean and how can we leverage them to market and communicate our products, services…our company.

The social networking sites Facebook and LinkedIn are for sharing information about your status, presence and interests with friends and colleagues, typically Facebook is for when you are in a pair of jeans and LinkedIn for when you are wearing a suit. Then we have Twitter, a place to post short announcements (tweets) about your status, facts and experiences in real time but also a place to follow other people and be updated to what’s happening in their world. YouTube is now the biggest search engine in the world and users are uploading video showing their products, services, experiences and interests, it’s fair to say that many of us now prefer to watch than read and the adoption of broadband and increase in broadband speeds now allow for quality video to be played over the internet.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are some of the biggest players but there are many other comparable networking sites and services to choose from, by reading this article you have succumbed to blogging, a place to comment, describe, discuss and air you views on a variety of subjects.

So how can we leverage these technologies to enhance or market our business and why should we be paying more attention to the signs we pass on a daily basis. The internet has grown to such an extent in the last few years that it is almost impossible to find people who are not using this way of being in touch with people from all over the world. This is just plain and simple communication and a way of keeping you in front of other people. This is a way of advertising, in traditional marketing methods you would advertise through traditional marketing concepts by placing adverts in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and other media. As a business we can take advantage of social networking and use it instead or to compliment traditional advertising and PR. An advert in a newspaper or even radio or TV is an interruption and never has the full attention of the persons to whom it’s directed. With social networking you have the personal attention of your customers and are even able to have a two way communication with them, and more importantly target specific users by location, age, sex, position, company and interests.

In business we must be agile and we must continue to innovate, we must also tell people about our agility and our innovations and how we are leading the way in our respective industries, by using social networking we can achieve this very effectively, very quickly and cost effectively. The wider your circle of customers and individuals, there is more opportunity for you to promote and advertise your business. Social networking can help you to increase the circle of people that you can influence and each person that you contact is almost sure to know others who would be interested in your product or service. Through social networking you can create a reputation that people recognise as reliable and trustworthy, once you have established this you can then direct people to your website so they can learn more about your services and business.

So essentially it’s about keeping in touch, telling people about your needs and aspirations and positioning yourself or business as an industry leader that others want to follow and hear from, but also it’s about the quality that is sometimes overlooked, listening, to what others are saying and what is happening around you and then reacting and changing.

Over the coming months you will see and hear about how Ceuta is embracing and leveraging the social network scene, we are launching a new corporate website and coinciding the launch of our presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and a Ceuta Healthcare YouTube channel, we hope you will follow us and will look forward to hearing your comments, and if you like what you see, tell your friends!

So watch out for the SIGNS……..